Meet Legendary Filmmakers and Critics at SCMS Chicago

From March 6-10, the world's largest gathering of cinema experts will be in Chicago. The Society for Cinema and Media Studies (SCMS) 2013 Chicago Conference brings together global film academics and critics to discuss the past, present and future of cinematic arts. So, of course, Kartemquin is involved!

The showpiece opening night event of the conference is also open to the public: Urban Documentaries and Social Change: Where Are We? Asking the question of "how do we socially understand urban media and how has the contemporary political landscape impacted documentary filmmaking?", the event, hosted by the MCA Chicago, features a very strong and rare meeting of acclaimed panelists.

Gordon Quinn (Kartemquin co-founder) and Allan Siegel (Newsreel co-founder) will reflect on the past and present of urban social issue documentary. Their discussion will feature documentary shorts and excerpts from longer works produced by Kartemquin and Newsreel. Steve James (Hoop Dreams, The Interrupters) and Michelle Citron (Columbia College Chicago) will discuss making documentary media in the urban context today and how such media might evolve in the future in a panel moderated by B. Ruby Rich (University of California, Santa Cruz). The evening will conclude with a roundtable discussion and questions from the audience. Buy tickets online directly from the MCA or call the MCA Box Office, 312.397.4010.

In addition, Kartemquin is well represented at the SCMS conference itself, with staff member Nora Gully, associate Judy Hoffman and KTQ archives project leader Carolyn Faber appearing across four panels. More details on those and the opening night event are below. We look forward to meeting great cinephiles there!

Public Media 2.0 - A Conversation on the Future of Urban Documentary and Social Change: Urban Documentaries and Social Change: Where Are We?
March 6, 2013 - 6:00pm - 9:00pm
MCA Chicago
220 E. Chicago Avenue
Chicago, IL. Tickets

How do we socially understand urban media and how has the contemporary political landscape impacted documentary filmmaking? This program is organized by the Society for Cinema and Media Studies and presented in partnership with the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. The first panel features Gordon Quinn and Allan Siegel, moderated by Mark Shiel. A second panel features Michelle Citron and Steve James, moderated by B. Ruby Rich. A final roundtable discussion, with all panelists and moderators, is moderated by Brendan Kredell.

Michelle Citron is the chair of the Interdisciplinary Arts Department at Columbia College Chicago and an award-winning media artist whose many works include Daughter Rite (1978), What You Take for Granted (1983), and Queer Feast (2012). She is also the author of Home Movies and Other Necessary Fictions (Minnesota, 1999).

Brendan Kredell is an instructor in the Film Studies program at the University of Calgary, whose research focuses on cities and cinema in the post-industrial era. He is currently co-editing, with Marijke de Valck and Skadi Loist, Film Festivals: History, Theory, Method, Practice (Routledge, forthcoming).

Steve James is an award-winning filmmaker whose first film, Hoop Dreams (1994), received the Peabody Award for distinguished public service and was selected for preservation by the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry. More recently, his documentary The Interrupters (2011, co-produced with Alex Kotlowitz) received the Best Documentary prize at the 2012 Independent Spirit Awards. James has been selected to direct a film about the life of Ebert, one of his earliest champions. The film will be executive produced by Martin Scorsese and will be James’s seventh produced with Kartemquin Films.

Gordon Quinn is Artistic Director and founder of Kartemquin Films, a 2007 recipient of the MacArthur award for Creative and Effective Institutions. His 45-year career in documentaries includes such films as Home for Life, The Chicago Maternity Center Story, The Last Pullman Car, and Golub. Quinn has served on several boards including The Illinois Humanities Council, Chicago Access Network Television, The Public Square Advisory Committee, and The Illinois Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. He was a lead documentarian in petitioning the copyright office for an exemption to the DMCA, and in creating the Documentary Filmmakers Statement of Best Practices in Fair Use and frequently speaks to the media, legal, and educational communities about this fundamental right.

B. Ruby Rich is a professor at the University of California-Santa Cruz and a recipient of the Distinguished Career Achievement Award from the Society for Cinema and Media Studies (2006). She has published widely in the popular, alternative, and scholarly press, and is the author of Chick Flicks: Theories and Memories of the Feminist Film Movement (Duke University Press, 1998) and New Queer Cinema: The Director’s Cut (Duke University Press, 2013).

Mark Shiel is Senior Lecturer in Film Studies at King’s College London. He is the author of Hollywood Cinema and the Real Los Angeles (2012) and Italian Neorealism: Rebuilding the Cinematic City (2006) as well as coeditor of Screening the City (2003) and Cinema and City: Film and Urban Societies in a Global Context (2001). He is currently editing and writing for a collection of essays entitled Architectures of Revolt: The Cinematic City circa 1968 (Temple University Press, forthcoming).

Allan Siegel was born in Brooklyn and is a film and video maker, visual media artist, writer and teacher. In 1968 he was one of the founding members of the documentary film collective Newsreel and later a co-director of Third World Newsreel. His films have been presented at major festivals throughout the world. He taught at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and was a visiting artist at Northwestern University, University of Illinois (Chicago) and Hunter College (CUNY). He also worked on the video installations for the Mies in America exhibitions at the Whitney in New York, MCA Chicago, and the Canadian Centre for Architecture. Siegel has lived in Budapest since 2001, where he teaches at the Hungarian University of Fine Arts and has exhibited in Hungary, England, Russia, and Germany.

While the conversation is expected to be wide ranging, we expect to address the legacy of seminal radical documentary media collectives in contemporary practice, the ways in which our notions of the potential of documentary media have shifted with changes in the media landscape, and the specificity of the urban environment as a subject and as a filming location. Simultaneously historical, geographical, and conceptual, “Public Media 2.0” will speak to the interests of a diverse cross‑section of audiences and to the vexed question of democratic mobilization in a multi‑media environment.
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The Fate of Film Footage: Bastard Films and the Politics of Provenance
The Drake Hotel, Meeting Rm. TBD
140 East Walton Place
Chicago , IL

A cross-section of film scholars, collectors, archivists, professionals, and individuals walking the lines between these increasingly indistinct categories, this workshop is assembled in an effort to make sense of a category of film material that remains at once beguiling and impossible to comprehend. The word “footage” is usefully vague. All films are, in essence, collections of footage. But what do we do when this footage is divorced from its context? What if there never was a context (conceptual, physical, aesthetic) to begin with? What if the context is forced, or false? How do we account for these ill-begotten, seemingly illegitimate materials?

A workshop in the truest sense, we hope to stimulate active and engaged conversation by showing, on 16mm and video, a range of examples. Skip Elsheimer (A/V Geeks, Raleigh) will be on hand to discuss the economics and ethics of providing footage from his 24,000-film collection to paying clients, who, it seems, are growing increasingly
reluctant to pay for this service at an historical moment that appears to grant us all unlimited and free access to “footage” on the Internet. Melissa Dollman (Audiovisual Cataloguer/Archivist, Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard), will give us a sense of one institution’s policies regarding the fragmentary, providing anecdotal
accounts from specific projects as well ruminations on our ascending regard for fragments as such. Nora Gully (Post Production Associate, Kartemquin Films) will help us understand the accumulation of footage in the creation of long-form documentary films and the evolving notion of what happens to fragments on the cutting room floor. Oliver
Gaycken (University of Maryland) and Devin Orgeron (North Carolina State University) are long-time friends of the Orphan Film Symposium, a forum for the kind of material this workshop addresses. Their scholarship (on nonfiction and nontheatrical film) frequently touches on the fragmentary and both are keen to begin to theorize and historicize the
role of the film fragment, particularly its place in works with a stated educative function.

Chair:
Skip Elsheimer - A/V Geeks, Raleigh, North Carolina
Skip Elsheimer is the founder of A/V Geeks LLC in Raleigh, NC. In the early 1990s, he began collecting 16mm educational films and now has over 23,000 films in an archive. He also acquired telecine equipment, a variety of video tape machines and video digitizing equipment. He has digitized several thousand hours of material from his own
collection and for clients such as the Internet Archive, Duke University Special Collections, Stanford University and NASA.

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To Preserve Disorder: Moving Image Archiving & Preservation in Chicago
March 7, 2013 - 11:00am - 12:45pm
The Drake Hotel, Meeting Rm. N21
140 East Walton Place
Chicago , IL

Chair: Jackie Stewart

Panelists Include:
Carolyn Faber (head of Kartemquin Archives project)
Sara Chapman (Media Burn)
Tom Colley (Video Data Bank)
Nancy Watrous (Chicago Film Archives)
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Where the Minor was Mainstream: The Sponsored, Amateur, Educational, and Experimental Cinemas of Chicago
March 7, 2013 - 1:00pm - 2:45pm
The Drake Hotel, Meeting Rm. 7
140 East Walton Place
Chicago, IL

Chair: Andy Uhrich (Indiana University)
Respondent: Judy Hoffman (University of Chicago)
Papers:
Andy Uhrich (Indiana University), “Shakespeare as Home Movies, Chicago as the Globe: David Bradley’s Macbeth (1947) and Julius Caesar (1950)”
Charles Tepperman (University of Calgary), “Behind the Scenes at Central Cinematographers: A Brief History of Amateur Movie Clubs in Chicago”
Michelle Puetz (School of the Art Institute of Chicago), “Activism and Experimentation in the Films of JoAnn Elam”
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From Chicago to L.A.: Research Paradigms for Cinematic Cities
March 7, 2013 - 3:00pm - 4:45pm
The Drake Hotel, Meeting Rm. 24
140 East Walton Place
Chicago, IL

Chair: Mark Shiel (King’s College, London)
Co-Chair: Brendan Kredell (University of Calgary)

Workshop Participants:
Richard Lloyd (Vanderbilt University)
Judy Hoffman (University of Chicgo)
Jon Lewis (Oregon State University)
Stanley Corkin (University of Cincinatti)
Josh Glick (Yale University)
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Full SMCS 2013 conference catalog.